Program Description

20 contact hours (2.0 CEUs)

Join us for the 21st Annual Advanced Clinical Practice in Pediatric Physical Therapy Conference. This asynchronous online conference is geared toward advanced practice and is intended for experienced pediatric physical therapists with a strong desire to investigate current theories and evidence-based practice across settings. Physical therapists who are considering taking the Pediatric Certified Specialist exam through ABPTS are particularly encouraged to participate as part of their review.

At the end of the conference, participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced clinical competency in the provision of physical therapy services for children with diverse abilities and their families
  2. Synthesize and describe contemporary theories and evidence-based practices, and
  3. Integrate the theories and evidence presented into physical therapy practice patterns



The following sessions, each 2 hours, will be available online September-October 2021. It is recommended that the presentations be viewed in the order listed, since each session will build on preceding presentations.

  1. Evidence-Based Practice (Kaplan)
  2. Selection & Interpretations of Measures of Motor Development (Dole)
  3. Motor Control and Motor Learning (Tucker)
  4. Cardiopulmonary Examination and Intervention (Nippins)
  5. Musculoskeletal System and Orthopedic Practice (Shah)
  6. School-Based Physical Therapy Services (Effgen)
  7. Orthotics (Martin)
  8. Early Intervention-based Physical Therapy Services (Cox)
  9. Fitness for Children with Disabilities (O'Neil)
  10. NICU Physical Therapy Practice (Sibley)



Paula Cox, PT, DSc, PCS
Dr. Cox is a licensed, board certified, physical therapist with clinical experience in pediatric neurological and neuromuscular rehabilitation. She is a member of APTA, APTA Pediatrics, and the Illinois Chapter. Cox served on the APTA Pediatrics' NICU to EI transition work group. She operates a private pediatric practice and provides ongoing mentoring to PT's in the Chicago area. She developed and presents the evidence-based pediatric continuing education course "Improving Function: Tools to Enhance Motor Control, Motor Learning, and Strength." Cox received her Doctor of Science in Pediatric Rehabilitation from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Program. Her doctoral research examined the use of a robotic scooter, the SIPPC, to provide early autonomous locomotion for infants with Down syndrome.

Robin Dole, PT, DPT, EdD, PCS
Dr. Dole is a professor of physical therapy, director of the Institute for Physical Therapy Education, and associate dean in the School of Human Service Professions at Widener University in Chester, PA. Dole maintains an active clinical practice in early intervention and school-based physical therapy services. She is a co-author of Peds Rehab Notes by FA Davis, as well as several peer-reviewed publications in respected journals, including Physical Therapy and Pediatric Physical Therapy. She has been appointed to the editorial board of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. Dole received a BS in physical therapy from the Ithaca College, an MS in Physical Therapy with a Pediatric Fellowship from the University of Indianapolis, an EdD in Child and Youth Studies with a concentration in Exceptional Education and Special Services from Nova Southeastern University, and a post-professional DPT from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. She has also been a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatrics since 1996 and recipient of the Service Award from the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association. Her research interests include pediatrics, special education, hippotherapy, community engagement, gait, and orthotic devices.

Susan Effgen, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Dr. Effgen is Professor Emerita and former Director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program at the University of Kentucky. She is an established educator and researcher in pediatric physical therapy and is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA. As co-chair of the (then) Section on Pediatrics Government Affairs Committee, she was active in the authorization and reauthorization process of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The APTA Pediatrics' Advocacy Award is now given in her name. She has served on several editorial boards, including Physical Therapy, and authored the text Meeting the Physical Therapy Needs of Children. She was co-investigator of a US Department of Education grant: PT COUNTS, studying the Relationship of Student Outcomes to School-based Physical Therapy Services. She is the founding chair of the APTA Pediatrics School-based Special Interest Group.

Sandra Kaplan, PT, PhD
Dr. Kaplan is a Professor in the Dept. of Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, and Vice-Chair for Curriculum and Accreditation. Her interests include pediatric rehabilitation, evidence-based practice, knowledge translation, and clinical outcome measures. She trains CPG writers for the APTA, is a member of the CPG Advisory Panel for the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy, oversees CPG development for APTA Pediatrics, and co-authored the DPT Education EBP Curriculum Guidelines. She is the lead author on the Congenital Muscular Torticollis CPG (2013,2018), and last author on the Developmental Coordination Disorder CPG. She enjoys her collaborations with academic and practicing clinicians that have resulted in numerous publications relevant to evidence based clinical practice.

Kathryn Sue Martin, PT, DHS
Dr. Martin received a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training from Purdue University in 1987, her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from University of Indianapolis in 1990, and Doctor of Health Science from University of Indianapolis in 2003. She is currently a full Professor and the Assistant DPT Program Director at University of Indianapolis. Her clinical background includes early intervention and pediatric acute care. Martin has taught the pediatric DPT content at the University of Indianapolis for the past 20 years, and her research efforts have focused on orthoses and children with hypotonia. She was awarded the 2019 Bud DeHaven Award for outstanding service to APTA Pediatrics. Martin currently volunteers for a service dog training program in Indianapolis—the Indiana Canine Assistant Network.

Mathew Nippins, PT, DPT, CCS
Dr. Nippins is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Northeastern University in Boston. He received his BS in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in 2000 and his DPT from the Institute of Health Professions in 2007. He received his Certification as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Certified Clinical Specialist in 2008. Nippins' clinical work has included both inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular and pulmonary experience with both children and adults at Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children in Boston, and he is currently a Senior Physical Therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Margaret (Maggie) O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH
Dr. O'Neil is a professor in the Programs in Physical Therapy at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), New York, NY. She teaches in the DPT and EdD programs at CUIMC and Teachers College and conducts clinical workshops on fitness for children with disabilities. O'Neil's research focus is physical activity measures and activity-based interventions for children with disabilities. She is on a team that designs virtual reality (VR) to promote activity and fitness in youth with CP. She has received research funding by several agencies (NIH, NIDILRR) and is an editorial board member for Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.

Durga Shah, PT, DPT, PCS
Dr. Shah is a pediatric clinic specialist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), faculty member in the CHOA Pediatric Residency Program, and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Physical Therapy at Emory University. She leads service learning international trips through Emory University to Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Her passion is to "bring the clinic to the classroom" and to promote advocacy for children. Her clinical and research interests include physical activity and health promotion in children with chronic childhood conditions, neuro-motor outcomes in children with leukemia, central nervous system tumors, neuromuscular disease, and nonsurgical management of deformities in children.

Cecelia Sibley, PT, MHA, CEIS
Ms. Sibley is a pediatric physical therapist with over 20 years of experience in pediatrics. She is a certified early intervention specialist and her clinical experiences in pediatrics are comprised of outpatient services as well as all facets of acute care, including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Ms. Sibley coordinates the NICU Follow up Program where she performs standardized evaluations of children enrolled in multi-center research studies and those infants at increased risk for developmental delay. She received a BS in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and a MS in Health Administration from Suffolk University. Ms. Sibley provides education to medical students, residents, and fellows at Tufts Medical Center and teaches the pediatric curriculum at North Shore Community College.

Carole A Tucker, PT, PhD, PCS
Dr. Tucker received her bachelor's degree from Boston University in Physical Therapy, her master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Boston University, and a PhD in Exercise Science from SUNY-Buffalo. She currently is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy and Electrical & Computer Engineering Departments, and Director of Graduate Programs in Neuromotor Science, College of Public Health at Temple University in Philadelphia. She earned her Pediatric Clinical Specialist in 1996, and has been credentialed as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine. She receives funding from NIH, DoD, Shriners Hospitals for Children and PCORI for pediatric and neuromotor clinical research programs. Her research interests include learning health systems & health informatics, mobile health and wearable sensors, patient reported health outcomes, application of advanced statistical and analytical approaches to biomechanics datasets, and interventions to improve function and mobility in children with physical disabilities.


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